Group Study Guide for

Whatever Happened to Dinner?

[Cover of Whatever Happened to Dinner?]

Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtime

by Melodie M. Davis

These study questions are also available as a download here.

Also see Whatever Happened to Dinner? in the MennoMedia online catalog.

Introduction Chapter 4 Chapter 8 Chapter 12
Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 9 Chapter 13
Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 10 Chapter 14
Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 11 Chapter 15

Chapter 15: Saving Table Grace

Scripture: Matthew 6:9-15

If you have never studied the Lord’s Prayer in depth, consider doing so as a group or class sometime in the future. It contains a wealth of inspiration and teaching packed in so few words. For now, just take apart the phrase "Give us this day our daily bread." Go around the group and assign one word to each person, or to groups of two or three if your group is larger. What all is encompassed with the word "Give"? What comes to mind as you say the word "us," and so on? Each group or individual can study and reflect on just one word for 5–6 minutes. Then share your thoughts.

  1. Share stories and memories of table grace practices at your home, both in your family of origin and in your family today. Any funny or tender moments with children praying?
  2. Are these practices different for you than when you were growing up? How?
  3. Did you or do you observe regular family devotions or Bible reading and prayer? How can you incorporate devotions into your family’s practices: once a week, during special seasons of the year (Advent, Lent), or whenever possible?
  4. Did you practice table grace while in college or away from home? Do you pray aloud or silently? Do you think this is making a show of prayer? Why or why not?
  5. Do you pray before meals in restaurants? At the fast-food window? Why or why not?
  6. Do you have bad memories of prayers said at meals? Sermons in the form of prayers? Share if you are willing. Why did some impact you so negatively?
  7. Have you ever preached a sermon in a prayer? How can you avoid doing that?
  8. Are you comfortable praying aloud in a group? Why or why not?
  9. Do you think praying aloud as a family or child helps with that or not?
  10. How can a regular family mealtime help your family pray more regularly together? Is it important for Christians? Why or why not?
  11. Do you think it is uncivilized to eat without pausing for grace?
  12. Do you like to be thanked when you cook a meal or doesn’t it matter if people forget? How can you teach children to be more grateful for daily blessings of food and family?
  13. Ask your group or yourself the questions on page 229.

Activity: Bring or share your favorite grace or blessing. They could be sung or spoken. Sing any new graces to learn them, or have members read aloud any blessings they brought as a way of bringing your study to a close.

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